Teen shooting victim critical

August 14, 2009 4:15:45 AM PDT
A 15-year-old girl is in critical condition after being shot outside her home on the city's South Side.Taccara Swain was shot in the head on Wednesday night around 8 o'clock outside her home near 110th and Normal.

"When I turned around she was already on the ground. I thought she laid there to duck. But when I seen blood, I knew she was hit," said McCray, Taccara's cousin.

On Wednesday night around 8, Cherrelle McCray says an evening spent with family became violent for her 15-year-old cousin Taccara Swain.

McCray says it was as Taccara reached down to pick up a two-year-old relative so the group could head indoors to which a favorite TV show that shots rang out.

"She didn't want the baby to walk. She was about to pick her up. She didn't get a chance to grab her because she got shot before she grabbed her. She didn't know she was shot and didn't make any noises when she got shot. I think she was in shock," said McCray.

Two bullets grazed swain on the neck and temple while a third passed through her skull. She was taken to the hospital in critical condition as her family keeps prayerful vigil for a full recovery.

"The first 24 hours are the most critical. Surgery went well. It was a four-hour surgery that took two hours so that's good news," said Vernetta Swain, Taccara's aunt.

Friends say Taccara was set to begin her sophomore year at Percy Julian High School next month and was looking forward to a neighborhood block party this weekend.

"It never happens on this block. I've been on this block for 31 years and never happened. We've always gotten along this block and always had good neighbors on this block. And it's been a quiet block. All up until now," said Freddie Lindsey, neighborhood resident.

Some witnesses tell police the teen was wounded when one group of men begin shooting at another group of men standing in front of a home on the block.

"It's a real tragedy. You had this young lady trying to save one of her relatives. And she's caught in the crossfire between two vehicles. Just a very, very sad day," said Supt. Jody Weis, Chicago Police Department.

On Thursday, several community activists descended on the Roseland neighborhood filled with families and children hoping to get the violence to stop.

"I just feel the people are angry. But for some reason now young people are different but we still got to work with them and not give hope on these young people and it's very important we stick together and inspire them in some type of way," Rogers Jones, Roseland Safety Net Works Coalition.

The neighborhood block party planned by residents that was set for Saturday is going to go on. Residents say they're going to dedicate it to Taccara's speedy recovery.

Police say, while they have received plenty of tips and calls about the shooting, they have made no arrests and no suspects are in custody.


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